It’s time to report on our efforts to obtain Silkbody products in New Zealand.
Foolishly, we left it until the last minute, though we didn’t notice any Silkbody products until our last day, when we spent a couple of hours in the shops of Auckland.
The stocks were limited. Icebreaker goods had been seen frequently, and they certainly have a strong presence and a solid reputation in New Zealand, where the poorly paid locals are happy to pay the equivalent of £50 for a long-sleeved crew base layer.
Similar Silkbody products were selling for £35, but we wanted a sleeveless product, and could only find it in white, the wrong colour. We also discovered that Silkbody was based far away in Dunedin in the South Island and that it has only five employees.
So when we entered ‘Living Simply’, one of the listed stockists, we were not optimistic of success. Sadly our fears were well founded, and we received confirmation that we would be unable to get what we wanted that day in Auckland. However, the good news is that standing next to the Silkbody stand was a warmly attired (with the new range of products) lady who introduced herself as ‘Silkbody’. Yes, really, she said ‘I am Silkbody’! She explained that she was Ruth Peddie, Silkbody’s National Sales Manager. We discussed our (Ian’s) requirements and after establishing that the stocks in Auckland could probably not satisfy them, we agreed that Ruth could be contacted directly by email email@example.com or phone (+64 3 474 0425 or +64 21 366019) from the UK and would arrange for the desired goods to be supplied by post.
On return home, I discovered that Ellis Brigham and others have joined Backpackinglight.co.uk in supplying Silkbody products, but so far as I can see they all seem to be concentrating on the long-sleeved thermal base layers. EB in Manchester had very little stock when I visited them last week (and even fewer people with a desire to sell any of that stock).
UK prices are the same as those in NZ, but I’m not sure of the VAT/duty implications. Ruth said she would be happy for anyone with an interest to contact her direct, and I would hope that there would only be a nominal (if any) postage charge.
So I commend you to contact Ruth by clicking on the link: firstname.lastname@example.org – you do need to be careful with the sizing of what you buy, as it will shrink a little.
Just for the record, it is this review by Andy Howell that has helped to stimulate this (albeit limited) interest in Silkbody.
And the very best of luck – I hope you enjoy your purchases.
As at 8 April 2008 I know of at least one person who has successfully, and very efficiently, obtained a Silkbody product not currently available in the UK, direct from Silkbody.